Why is it that everytime I hear ?

Someone say
"this land/wealth/whatever' was built by your ancestors,
by men of steel, working hard and paving the way for you.
We fought long and hard to give you what you have today."
I can't help but get a bit agitated.

I won't say this is utter BS, but at least be realistic about it:
they didn't have much choice now did they ?

It's not like they went to work everyday with idealistic ideas to build a New Future for everyone.
It was most likely just a Struggle To Survive.

There have of course been people that did have ideals and realized them: our everyday freedom (but do be critical about it), our democracy, men and women alike can vote, sexual revolution, social security, ....

That these ideas have been supported... we have to be thankful for that. But personally I believe that most people crying the afore mentioned much heard exclamation weren't exactly the persons actively fighting for The (or 'a') Cause.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying we shan't pay respect to them. But more for the individuals they are, for what they did for the persons near to them. The money they put in to make it possible for (their) children to study.

And most important of all, we have to make clear we too build the future. Even, or maybe especially, nowadays there's much left to fight for.
Recognize the power we all have, but most of all realize what there is to fight for at all. It's not a daily fight, it's not standing on the barricades all the time. It's a matter of speaking up when you think it's time to and supporting the causes you feel are right.

Thats what your ancestors probably did too.